Please help. Bisoprolol withdrawal and weaning offys

Posted , 17 users are following.

hi everyone I’m new here.

i was given Bisoprolol less than 2 months ago for tachycardia (120-130 bpm).

ive done countless EKGs and an echo a stress test and a 24 hr monitor, and blood tests to rule out a heart condition. 

My problem is the beta blocker, when the incident happened I took Bisoprolol 2.25 mg and it helped reduce my heart rate but caused chest pain, couldn’t eat, couldn’t walk or go out I was a complete zombie.

didnt take it the next day and was fine, but the day after my heart felt like it was shaking my body with how hard it was pumping and had to go to the emergency room again and the doctor there said my heart rate wasn’t that high and that this was an anxiety attack, and I should take the Bisoprolol and gave me an appointment with the cardiologist.

went to the cardiologist and said my heart was fine and strong and that I can stop the drug any time I want and manage my stress.

I cut the pill in half (1.25 mg) cause I felt like crap on the higher dose, then a few days later boom another attack but this time I had the flu which made it 100 times worse. I thought I would die, my heart was pounding for an hour till I took my next dose.

this kept happening for a few days every night I’d wake up with a very fast heart beat and would calm down by the time I took my dose.


0 likes, 45 replies

45 Replies

  • Edited

    Anyways, a couple of weeks after taking 1.25 of Bisoprolol I decided to cut that in half, a couple of days later the fast heart beat came back and lasted for a couple of days, then decided to cut that dose in half and the attacks still happened but were less severe.

    now I’m on what I think is 0.25 maybe 0.30 I have no idea it’s like a grain of sand at this point. But I’m truly affraid or event stopping this dose. It’s so small that I cannot believe it has this hold on my nervous system.

    my symptoms at this moment is extreme physical anxiety that starts in the pit of my stomach and radiates to my heart every morning that lasts all day, I take a Xanax when it’s really bad which helps.

    i get dizzy when I’m out or at work which causes my heart rate to go fast

    i wear an Apple Watch and my heart rate shoots up to really crazy numbers from resting 80 bmp to 120 even 130 just by walking upstairs or going to the bathroom.

    i am physically better than when I was on the higher dose thank god but this extreme anxiety is insane. The funny thing is this anxiety lasts all day but when it’s night time I’m more relaxed than ever and my heart rate dips to the mid 70s mid 80s.

    my question is, how long till I start skipping days on the current dose I’m taking cause I want off this drug. It took my life away and I hate the doctor and myself for every taking it.

    any success stories here ? Anyone going through something similar ? Any advice ?

    it literally feels like I’m going to die and I fight to stay alive every day I get out of bed

    i take high doses of magnesium

    holy basil

    i try to eat well


    • Posted


      Really.sorry you having such a hard time with Bisoprolol. Can relate exactly what you going through as my problem similar. Have been on Bisoprolol 1.25mg for around 17 months for sinus tachycardia. Am trying, like yourself to slowly wean off as the side effects are horrible. I have the same anxiety issues as you. They wake me every early morning with intense fast heartrate...from 130-160. I am frightened so much but keep telling myself it's anxiety. But when you feel your heart going so fast and cannot breathe it puts sense out of the window and l go into panic mode, which accelerates it even more. I drink lots of cold water, that does help and l also have to resort at times, to taking another grain of the Bisoprolol. It mostly calms down after a while, but l tend to read then to distract myself. What a situation all because of this drug!

      After tea last night l Sat watching tv and out of nowhere my heart started racing at 141, for what reason l don't know.

      So l know exactly what is happening to you. My advice would be carry on doing what you are doing but maybe slower, i.e. take your grains for longer with more days between until you feel ok on that dose, then reduce a tiny bit more. I've found even though l am going slow with weaning the fast heartrate will still hit me at random times but am going to persevere until l get off them. My Dr said l can do this and then keep them on standby for when/if they start up. This is my plan as l know l will need some back up with the diagnosis l have had.

      I hope you feel able to go forward with ypur plan and that eventually things work out fine for you. Good luck and let me know how you go on.

    • Posted

      Hi Christine,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.

      I’ve only taken this drug for just under 2 months and I started the weaning off a month after taking it.

      I was suffering with tachycardia that wouldn’t go down without taking my dose. Thank god at this stage of reducing the dose I don’t get that anymore. My heart has been skipping beats and going fast and slowing down.

      Hopefully I can completely stop it this month, I just want to know how. 

    • Posted

      Hi, Aj, the problem is that in response to the locking of your adrenergic receptor cells, more are produced, of at least that is what i understood when i was weaning off another bb.  so you have to wait for your body to adjust.   but the thing is, some people need something - whether to slow the heart rate or to keep blood pressure down. i cannot take other bp drugs, they all work, in tiny doses, but the side effects are too much, so i am stuck with a bb which lowers bp and heart rate, tho even a small amount has effects - if the dose is late i get an irritable, anxious feeling i never have when of meds.  if you do not need the meds now, and your doctor agrees, it is still best to stay on a small dose for months then reduce a bit, etc, your body has to have time to adapt, even if it takes months. i am having to cut back again now, just so do not get acclimatised to the medication and start to need more.
    • Posted

      Hi Annie, thanks for the reply. 

      I thought I was the only one, what I noticed is now I don’t have insane tachycardia like I did when I tried weaning off on the higher dose. Now it’s just the incredibly unbearable anxiety. I’m literally taking a grain of sand which is probably 0.25 or 0.30. It does nothing for me I’m just scared of just stopping. I’ve been on this dose for around 4 days and today I feel a little better. I just want off of these things. I’m taking Xanax when it gets over whelming and it does help. 

    • Posted

      I heard One guy had to withdraw beta blocker very slowly. It tooked him 2 years to come of beta blockers.

    • Edited

      Like you, I used it for a month and a half, and I am still suffering from hell after stopping it for two years. Imagine two years and I stopped taking a drug that I used only two months ago. The sad thing about this is that no one believes you, even the family and the doctor, and they say that we suffer from anxiety, and where were these symptoms before taking medication? Confusion in the ear, foggy head, tension in the legs. Sometimes a loss of energy, cold feet, muscle spasms that lead to shortness of breath. I feel better than before, but I still suffer, especially in the morning. The problem is that the symptoms are annoying, especially in the morning, and sometimes during the day they come suddenly. There is no solution but patience and waiting.

    • Posted

      You said it. im on bisoprolol 2.5 mg and if i wanted to wheen of it should be by a laboratory scale and scraping dose because i tryed to cut the tablet in half my blood pressure would rise.

  • Posted

    Have you had other test run, to rule out autoimmune disorders like a ANA test or lyme disease?
    • Posted

      I’ve been sent to a neurologist for testing for autoimmune diseases but not lime. I live in the Middle East and there’s no testing for that here.
  • Posted

    Also maybe try magnisium? Or check to make sure you are getting all your vitamins.
    • Posted

      I’m taking around 800 mg of magnesium a day which is helping. The test showed I was deficient 
  • Edited

    I have been off Bisoprolol completely now for 14 or 15 months and finally my heart rate is pretty much back to what it was before all this started. My breathlessness and low oxygen levels when asleep also seem to have recovered after all this time. My 14 month beta blocker cough is almost completely gone. About the only symptom that remains is the complete exhaustion and feeling I have been given brain damage by this drugs reduction of the oxygen supply to my brain, I feel quite unbalanced, especially when I am tired. 
    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply.

      Any advice how to wean off and when the withdrawal should start getting better ? After stopping ? 

      Happy for you, why were you given beta blockers to begin with?

    • Posted

      So glad Peter you are recovering after that terrible time you had with the Bisoprolol. I suppose there is light at the end of the tunnel after all, even though you had to fight every inch of the way to get there. Best wishes.
    • Posted

      I wasn't weaned off, the Cardiologist wanted to do an EP study for an ablation so just said to stop taking them five days before, I was prescribed them for Ventricular Tachycardia, of course as soon as I stopped taking them, the VT was far worst than it was before, so I ended up in hospital were they pumped me full of massive amounts of Bisoprolol, even though I told them not to as it would stop my EP study from working, (which it did!), so I then had to stop taking it cold turkey again!

      The side effects I got from Bisoprolol, some of them remain, some seemed to have finally gone after 14 months.

    • Posted

      I’m glad you are off them for good. I honestly notice that after greatly reducing the dose my physical symptoms are no where near severe as they used to be. I hope it gets better and not worse.


    • Posted

      I know your post was three years ago, but how did your EP study go? Did you have an ablation? Do you still have ventricular tachycardia? How are you doing now?

      I ask all this because I was diagnosed with VT lately and am taking bisoprolol 2.5 mg every 12 hours. I'm going to the EP in two days and I'm scared to stop taking the bisoprolol. I think I'm going to have an ablation and that scares me too! I hope everything has gone well for you.

    • Posted

      Hi April. Though I got occasional short runs of non-sustained VT before Bisoprolol, after I stopped taking it in order to have that EP study, by day three I was in sustained VT and was taken to St Georges hospital, the nurse pumped me full of Bisoprolol even though I told her this would prevent them being able to induce VT for the EP study in two days time, "nonsense"she said. The EP study two days later was a complete failure because they could not induce any arrhythmias just as I had warned the nurse. My side effects from Bisoprolol became increasingly worst so when I ended up in A & E after about five weeks of Bisoprolol, I was taken off beta blockers apart from a few days trial of Sotalol. Once I had been on and then permanently off all beta blockers, I would then go into sustained Ventricular Tachycardia every single day for hours. On the last occasion, because this had gone on for 12 hours and hadnt stopped when I went to bed, I called 111, they sent an ambualnce that took me into hospital. They performed an emergency EP study and ablation which has stopped my VT to this date, though I still get a few palpitations, sometimes as bad as bigemini that can last a few days. Unfortunately I never recovered from what Bisoprolol did to me, I had to be medically retired and the NHS are of no use whatsoever. My condition is slowly deteriorating, probably exacerbated by my balance and cognitive issues not allowing me to even walk quickly, never mind serious exercise. Do bare in mind though that such an over reaction to beta blockers is quite rare, though my cardiologist did take me more seriously when he got another patient who had similar side effects. I did a DNA study which found I had genes that made me a slow metaboliser regarding the NAT 2 enzine which is involved in the removal of beta blockers from your system, so I was probably becoming over dosed during those five weeks I was on it.

    • Edited

      Thanks for your reply. I can't believe everything you had to go through! I have so much compassion for the suffering that heart arrhythmias and beta blockers cause because I've suffered so long myself. It's very good that you finally had an ablation. I don't know what bigeminy feels like, but my niece has it off and on and chooses not to take beta blockers for it. It must be better than VT. I hope you find alternative ways of healing, and please keep in mind that chiropractic adjustments are very helpful with the issues you're experiencing. I plan to have them again once I get more stabilized.

    • Posted

      Hi Peter, I'm sorry to hear that your difficulties following taking bisoprolol have not improved, I have been reading some of your old posts recently and was hoping things had improved for you until i found this recent post. I came off bisoprolol 10 weeks ago and like you i feel as though my ANS has been damaged. Can i ask you please if, before your breathlessness went away on its own, you got your doctors to address your lack of oxygen at night? I read in one if your posts that they had agreed to a sleep apnea test, how did this go? I ask because i think i may have the same issue. Thank you

    • Posted

      Hi Susan, I did eventually manage to get a sleep apnea test, two in fact, but firstly, my measurable very low SATs occurred maybe one in three times, other times it was low, averaging above the 88% red line and as is the way, when I had the hospitals meter, that was the same model as my own, it was on one of my better nights. Hence, the Sleep doctor gave me the expected fob off, when I explained that a third of times it would be well below the red line all night average, he fobbed me off by saying whilst it was low, it wasn't that low, and that maybe I had a sweaty finger on the nights it did read lower and wrote to my GP saying I had health anxiety as I had bought my own meter. Turns out this sleep doctor was trying to retrain as a psychologist, I also tested myself and discovered sweaty fingers give a higher oxygen level rather than a lower one.

      So I went back to my GP, explained to her that if I suffered from health anxiety, how is it that I went into sustained Ventricular Tachycardia every day for hours for over a month until my ablation, but even knowing the dangers, I only called 111 on two occasions when it went on for 12 hours, that the reason I bought such medical devices, was that the NHS were doing nothing except write me sick notes, so I had to research myself in the hope of keeping my job.

      She subsequently apologised, and booked me into an alternative sleep clinic that did the full test with all the wires and things, trouble is, that appointment had an eight month waiting list which took me past the year when my breathing problems spontaneously resolved themselves somewhat. Whilst still low, it never stays below the 88% line now and I no longer have the feeling of having to remember to breathe or nightmares that I could no longer breathe in my sleep. So that test was a waste of time as well. I am left though with certain neurological issues that I read can be triggered by long term low blood oxygen.

    • Posted

      Good morning Peter, thank you so much for taking the time to reply, I really didnt know if you would get my message. Do you mind me asking what your long term problems as a result of low oxygen are? i came off bisoprolol 10 weeks ago and now have problems I never had before , I never feel hungry though i make sure i eat as well as i can, I dont feel the need to pee either( sorry if thats TMI) , I sleep well but wake feeling foggy , this slowly lifts but although my eyesight is fine, I can see everything clearly, I dont quite feel as if I im totally in the moment, this becomes more apparent if I go out. Its so odd and hard to explain. of course its all put down to anxiety but im wondering if my ANS has been disrupted or maybe its lack of oxygen at night? I havent bought a meter yet as theyre very expensive and Im going to be out of a job very soon and of course if i could show i had low levels i would still have to persuade my doctor to send me for tests and that could take for ever as things are right now. Sorry for rambling on but any views/advice you could give me would be very much appreciated. best wishes

    • Posted

      Hi Susan, please feel free to ask me as much as you find useful. My condition lost me my job so now I have a lot of empty time on my hands. Firstly, yes,the lack of hunger, let me give you an example, I had an unrelated condition and deemed giving my digestive system a rest might be wise, so I didn't eat as much as a peanut in five days, and still didn't feel hungry. Another thing, I used to be able to eat like a horse, and then run upstairs, now, for instance this evening, all I had was four slices of toast and some grapes in yogurt, and I feel uncomfortably full, its as if my stomach turned itself off. I like eating up to the swallowing point past my throat it hurts. I also notice that eating seems to use energy I do not have, so I no longer eat until the end of the day otherwise my day is prematurely over, the eating seems to use up the energy my brain seems to be short of, and so my brain issues are even worst.

      These issues manifest themselves in constant brain fog, that feeling I am not really here, just dreaming, towards the end of the day my speech becomes slurred. I have to walk with a walking stick now as I have balance issues, when I was still at work, people asked my manager if I was drunk, as I find it difficult to walk in a straight line. Sometimes I lose my orientation in the world and simply fall over.

      I have developed peripheral neuropathy, so my feet and legs are always tingling and the skin is numb, at night my legs feel as if I just stepped into a bath of scalding water. I read low blood oxygen can do these things.

      I get accused of anxiety, yet I feel so laid back because I feel spaced out, I have nothing to be anxious about now anyway, I no longer even need to get up in the mornings anymore to go to work. Anxiety is just a big fob off that they use. I called their bluff over this and said, "well if its anxiety, send me to a psychologist as I need to be cured else I will lose my job", so my GP had to send me to a psychologist which costs them money, the psychologist took one look at me and said, "I can see right away you do not suffer from anxiety, they are always doing this, it makes me mad", and sent me right back to my GP. I am in England where we have the NHS, for what they are worth, even less now that they only care about Covid. I was being reluctantly accessed by the Autonomic Unit at UCLH in London, they seem to have just completely dropped me and don't even answer my calls. I dont know how I can advise you as I never managed to make things right for myself, only to learn more than my GP and Cardiologist the workings of the autonomic nervous system which upsets some of the GPs. One thing else I get that is controlled by the Autonomic Nervous Systems control of the smooth muscles of the arteries feeding the heart is Prinz Metal Angina where the slightest stress or impatience, gives me a crushing pain across my chest.

    • Posted

      Hi Peter, many thanks for your reply. My situation is somewhat different to yours in as much as until 6 months ago I had no problems with bisoprolol , had been on it for just over a year when I started to feel unwell. I didnt see my doctor about it til April and he decided to tske me off it. Within a week I was having all kinds of withdrawal symptoms so he told me to to go back on it. I didnt stabilise though , I would wake up each day skaking until i had taken the pill then fall asleep for a few hours, I had a tremor and weak legs which I still have now. I couldnt go to work and the GP didnt know what to do with me so referred me to cardiologist which took 2 months, all the time hoping i would stabilise but I didnt. cardiologist suggested splitting dose between morning and night to see if that would help but it made things worse. Eventually he said i had to come off. all this time I felt like the drug was building up in my system though i was told this was impossible. I weaned off over 3 weeks with only a few withdrawal symptoms which was very strange but I still feel ad though im on it. I have the tremor and weak legs still plus the new symptoms I described in my last post which have started in the last 10 weeks since ive been off. I do have a degree of anxiety over this( who wouldnt?) but I know its not anxiety causing the symptoms. I stand to lose my job very soon as ive been off work for nearly 6 months. I believe these new symptoms are caused either by a disrupted ANS or lack of oxygen at night, Do you think it would be worth getting an oxometer. ? Im scared the symptoms will get worse. thank you for your help

    • Posted

      Hi Susan, I will post a couple of replies, but you wont see them until patient-info clears them as I will attach a couple of links.

      My experience with Cardiologists and GPs in general, is that they cannot think past what they absorbed in medical school, its not a case of your body storing beta blockers to continue giving you symptoms, its a case of beta blockers knocking the very delicate ANS off its equilibrium, you will see in the link I post how even minor things can do this, let alone a powerful medicine that acts directly on it. My guess is that the initial Bisoprolol adapted your ANS and did its job without affecting you, but as soon as you stopped, the shock of reactivated receptors in a system that had grown used to working with them repressed, was the shock that knocked your ANS off balance.

      Keep a look out for the next posts with links.

    • Edited

      If you scroll down near the bottom, (though it is all worth reading), you will see this:-

      "Causes of autonomic neuropathy may be related to numerous diseases/conditions, medications used to treat other diseases or procedures (such as surgery):.............Medications-medications used therapeutically to treat other disorders may affect the ANS.

      The following are some examples:

      Drugs that increase sympathetic activity (sympathomimetics): amphetamines, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (antidepressants), beta adrenergic stimulants

      Drugs that decrease sympathetic activity (sympatholytics): alpha and beta blockers (i.e. metoprolol),

      Regarding getting an oximeter, whilst ones that record overnight are expensive, you can buy ones that are very cheap for just seeing what your SATs are at any given time.

      Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) directing to site(s) unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

    • Posted

      Thank you so much for that Peter. Each time i see GP my blood oxygen level is fine but as I wake up feeling foggy and now have this odd feeling of not quite engaging with my surroundings, makes me wonder about night time levels, though ive never experienced any breathlessness at night. Its so frightening not knowing whats happening to you , especially as the people we trust with our health dont know either!!

    • Posted

      For the nightime oxygen SATs, you would need the more expensive ones. I would try the £10 one first and see what that says. If you want the two links, you will have to private message me.

    • Posted

      Hey Peter, I wanted to reply to your private message but for some reason it says its disabled. just wanted to give you an update on how things have been for me regarding the beta blockers. Thanks. (:

    • Posted

      can you tell me how you did it? Im on 2.5 mg bisoprolol and want to get of it too

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